Special Education Teaching Assistant

Industry:
Education
Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Special Education Teaching Assistant is a professional who provides support and assistance to students with special needs. They work closely with the Special Education Teacher to implement individualized teaching plans for students. Some of the key responsibilities of a Special Education Teaching Assistant include providing one-on-one assistance to students, helping with instructional activities, behavior management, and facilitating communication between parents, teachers, and other professionals.

Special Education Teaching Assistants work in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, special needs schools, and community centers. They must have excellent communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills, as they are responsible for identifying and addressing students' individual needs. A Special Education Teaching Assistant job description may also include working with diverse populations, adapting lesson plans to meet individual students' needs, and monitoring progress and behavior.

To become a Special Education Teaching Assistant, you will typically need a high school diploma, although some employers may require additional education or training. Experience working with children with special needs is also beneficial. If you are looking for a rewarding career in the education industry, a Special Education Teaching Assistant job may be a perfect fit for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support students with disabilities in their academic and social development
  • Assist special education teacher in the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP)
  • Modify and adapt curriculum materials for individual student needs
  • Provide specialized instruction and methods to help students reach educational goals 
  • Monitor student progress and collect data for progress reports 
  • Create and maintain a positive, inclusive and safe learning environment for students 
  • Support students with basic needs such as feeding, hygiene, and toileting 
  • Assist in managing classroom behavior and discipline 
  • Collaborate with parents, teachers, and other school staff to support student needs 
  • Attend and participate in professional development and training opportunities.

Experience and Education Requirements

To work as a Special Education Teaching Assistant, you usually need a high school diploma or equivalent, alongside experience working with children with disabilities. Some positions might require additional training or education, like an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in education or a related field. Specific responsibilities may vary, but generally, Teaching Assistants help create and implement lesson plans, provide support to students with special needs, communicate with parents and other educators, and help students with individualized education plans. Good communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills are essential, as well as a patient, supportive demeanor and a dedication to helping students achieve their potential.

Salary Range

A Special Education Teaching Assistant can expect to earn an average salary of around $27,000 per year in the United States. However, the salary range can vary greatly depending on location, education level, and experience. For example, in California, the average salary for a Special Education Teaching Assistant is closer to $35,000 per year. Other factors that may impact salary include the type of school or district the assistant is working in, with private schools often offering higher salaries.

Outside of the United States, salaries for Special Education Teaching Assistants also vary. In the United Kingdom, the average salary for a Teaching Assistant is around £14,000 per year. Similarly, in Canada, Special Education Teaching Assistants can expect to earn an average of around $30,000 CAD annually.

Sources:

  • https://www.payscale.com
  • https://www.salary.com
  • https://www.glassdoor.com

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Special Education Teaching Assistants in the Education industry is promising over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of teaching assistants is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need for Special Education Teaching Assistants is also expected to increase as more students with disabilities enroll in schools. Special Education Teaching Assistants work closely with teachers to provide support for students with disabilities, and they help them to overcome barriers to learning. With the growing demand for these professionals, opportunities are expected to arise in schools and educational institutions across the country.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Special Education Teaching Assistant?

A: A Special Education Teaching Assistant is a paraprofessional who works alongside special education teachers to help students with disabilities in the classroom. They provide support to students who need extra help to learn and participate in school.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a Special Education Teaching Assistant?

A: Some of the responsibilities of a Special Education Teaching Assistant include helping students with disabilities to understand and complete their assignments, assisting with behavior management, providing personal care (such as toileting and feeding) as needed, and keeping track of student progress.

Q: What are the qualifications required to become a Special Education Teaching Assistant?

A: Typically, prospective Special Education Teaching Assistants need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a criminal background check, and complete training or coursework related to working with students with disabilities. Some positions may also require prior experience or specific certifications.

Q: What skills are important for a Special Education Teaching Assistant to have?

A: Some important skills for a Special Education Teaching Assistant to have include patience, flexibility, the ability to work well in a team, strong communication skills, a willingness to learn, and a desire to help students succeed.

Q: What is the job outlook for Special Education Teaching Assistants?

A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of teacher assistants (including Special Education Teaching Assistants) is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the number of students in special education programs continues to rise, there will likely be a continued demand for Special Education Teaching Assistants.


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